North Texas Objectivist Society (NTOS) Message Board › Losing Bronwen

Losing Bronwen

Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 621
I hope I am mistaken, but I believe I have some sad news to report.

A few days ago, we lost track of one of our longest-time members. Meetup finally sent me this automatic notice:

Bronwen has automatically been removed from Meetup.com due to inactivity. Bronwen has not visited Meetup.com and all of their emails have been returned as "undeliverable" for at least 6 consecutive months.

Here's a quick summary of Bronwen's activity:
* Joined on: March 24, 2005
* RSVPed 'Yes' 0 times
* RSVPed 'Maybe' 0 times
* RSVPed 'No' 40 times


Bronwen was unusual because she RSVPed "No" to almost every event we offered for two solid years -- 40 times.

After the first six months of this pattern she wrote me in October, 2005 to explain that she really wanted to participate in our group but did not have the strength to visit us because she was suffering with breast cancer and frequent chemo treatments. Later, in April, 2006 she told me that the breast cancer had spread to bone cancer and she was undergoing radiation treatments.

She did actually make it to one of our events -- the one at Scarborough Faire in April, 2006, but we did not get to meet her. She wrote me that she saw some of us there, but didn't feel up to actually meeting us -- instead preferring to sit in the shade enjoying the people watching.

As of last November, 2006, almost one full year ago, she let me know she was down to working only a few days a week.

The last time she RSVPed ("No," of course) was in February, 2007. I wrote her in April, 2007 to see how she was doing, but received no response. An e-mail to her tonight was automatically returned as undeliverable. Her e-mail address was through her work, so I doubt she is working any more.

I do not know very much about her. She is 41 and has a 22-year-old son.

Perhaps I shouldn't publish this, but I think it is appropriate to say something. Our society was important to her even if she couldn't participate.

-- Todd
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 657
I am very sad to report that I have seen a recent church prayer-list notice for Bronwen's family. I wish there was more I could do or say, but I doubt her family would welcome any intrusion from apparent strangers.
-- Todd
A former member
Post #: 58
let's send 'em a card
A former member
Post #: 4
Any expression of sympathy would be appreciated by the family, even from strangers; no one person in a family knows *all* the contacts/acquaintances/interests of other family members.

As one who has been on the receiving end of notes of sympathy too many times, I can attest that notes coming from those I didn't know meant, in many cases, *more* than those coming from folks I did know. Just include a note explaining how we knew Bronwen, even though the group never met her in person, and how much her loyalty was appreciated. - Pati
A former member
Post #: 5
Addendum: Suggest sending the card(s) to the church, if an address is not available or known to be still correct. Of course, we'll need that information - and her last name. - Pati
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 662
Thanks for your suggestions.

I guess the part I have been struggling with is that I know so little about her circumstances -- from the church "prayer-list" notice her family appears to be at least somewhat religious (as most of our members' families are, of course); I do not know whether Bronwen would want them to know about her interest in Objectivism as I have met some people who just would prefer "not to go there" with their families; and if a card from us comes as a surprise to her family, she is probably in poor condition to discuss it with them now.

I thought she might like me to let our members know about her, but I have doubts about whether she would like me to send a card to her family. I have little experience with this kind of situation.

Do you still think we should send something to her family? If so, I will.

I do have her last name, though "Bronwen" is a rather unusual name, anyway, so it would not be difficult to find her.
A former member
Post #: 60
Say

I heard that you might be in trouble,
Just wanted to let you know you're in our thoughts
And we're all hoping the best for you.

Or just pick something up off the card aisle at Wal-Mart. You don't need to put anything about objectivism on it. If knowing where it came from makes her feel better then put something she'd recognize from the site. Your alias, maybe?
A former member
Post #: 6
Suggest calling the church office to find out her status. If she's living and alert, send a card from "Todd (Old Toad), Julia and all her friends from Meetup." She'll know who it's from. If she's not living, there's no reason to hide her membership in the group from her family; written expressions of sympathy are appreciated, no matter the source.

Just because a card signed by a particular group arrives, that doesn't mean she was a member of the group; the group could be that to which a friend, co-worker or neighbor belongs. I know that, when my mother died, if a card had come signed from a chapter of Hell's Angels, for instance, I would have really wondered...but would have been darned glad someone cared enough to send it. Suggest parking the obsessing and pick up the phone. Your heart's in the right place; it's OK to follow through. -Pati
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 674
In searching again today, I have found a couple confirmations that Bronwen has passed.

Her name was Bronwen Barber.
She worked for Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control - Dallas.
It looks like she went to high school in Midlothian, TX, from 1980-1984.

In Memory of Bronwen Barber, 2007 Komen Dallas Race for the Cure®
http://rfcda.convio.n...­

She was active in the Richardson Humane Society, and was recently honored at:
http://www.richardson...­

Here's the prayer-list notice I had seen from the Flower Mound Presbyterian Church:
http://fmpcweb.org/pr...­

That's all I found. Belatedly, I will send a card from us.
Old T.
OldToad
Group Organizer
Dallas, TX
Post #: 676
I also just found that Bronwen used to participate on The Forum for Ayn Rand Fans. Her posts there give a little more information about her interests.

She was a "Trekkie."
One of her favorite movies was "The Hunt for Red October."
She liked the book and movie "Contact."
She admired Thomas Paine.


See: http://forums.4aynran...­
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